Grammar school pupils in Rugby could lose free transport as part of council cuts

More than 120 Rugby High pupils could lose their free transport
More than 120 Rugby High pupils could lose their free transport

Nearly 200 grammar school pupils in Rugby could lose their free school transport if the service is cut as part of millions of pounds of savings.

Warwickshire County Council currently provides free transport for some grammar school pupils, regardless of whether it is the students’ nearest school or not.

This proposal could reduce choice for those on middle and low incomes

Charlotte Marten, headteacher at Rugby High School

But a proposal to scrap the system could mean pupils from Lawrence Sheriff and Rugby High may be forced to pay or make other arrangements from October.

There are currently 182 Rugby High School pupils who are eligible for free transport. But if the policy was changed, 129 would no longer be entitled to the service.

Charlotte Marten, headteacher at Rugby High, said: “The majority of those who attend grammar schools and who currently receive free transport could be asked to pay a significant amount, up to £750 a year depending on the nature of the proposals finally adopted. This is a huge sum of money for any family to pay, especially for families with more than one child.

“At Rugby High School, 129 students who are not currently charged could be in the future. This is fundamentally unfair. The transport arrangements are a factor in families’ choice of school. It is really important that all parents respond to the consultation which is scheduled to run between June 19 and September 15. This proposal could reduce choice for those on middle and low incomes.”

There are currently 90 pupils who are eligible for free transport at Lawrence Sheriff but it would be reduced to 61 under the new scheme.

A Warwickshire County Council spokesman said the proposed changes would make the policy more consistent with other authorities and a full consultation would take place.

There is a legal requirement for the county council to provide assistance with transport to students from low-income families , which refers to those in receipt of free school meals or the maximum level of working tax credit.